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Improvements Made to Buck Gully Trail System During COVID-19 Shutdown


Trail improvement work in Buck Gully
​During the recent COVID-19 closure, Irvine Ranch Conservancy’s Planning and Infrastructure Crew, in partnership with the City of Newport Beach, used the temporary trail closure as an opportunity to repair and enhance the Buck Gully trail system with hopes of improving the sustainability of the trail while making it more enjoyable for hikers and bikers.
Starting on May 11, the Planning and Infrastructure Crew took advantage of the clear trails to safely operate heavy equipment on the narrow trail system and accelerate improvement projects in the area. The crew was able to cut back overgrown vegetation and widen the trail for better visibility, reroute two sections of the trail adjacent to the creek making them more sustainable, repair surface erosion at the trailhead, and incorporate natural surface drains and tread re-contouring at more than 18 locations to eliminate channelization of water and bank edge erosion. Rip-rap and gravel were also incorporated into more than 1,000 lineal feet of trailhead to help armor the tread and create an all-weather sustainable surface.
​“The crew was able to complete an extensive amount of repairs that will provide an overall better user experience in this area,” said Adam Maywhort, Director of Planning and Infrastructure at Irvine Ranch Conservancy. “Vegetation from late, heavy seasonal rains had overtaken the trail and the trailhead had numerous areas with accelerated erosion and two significant bank failures. Also, the concrete bridge at the 5th and Poppy entrance had extrinsic debris from storm-related creek overflow.”
Irvine Ranch Conservancy and the City of Newport Beach plan to continue improving the Buck Gully trail system with additional enhancements scheduled for Fall 2020.
The Buck Gully trail system is open daily from dawn to dusk for self-guided access. One-way bike traffic is permitted. All visitors must practice physical distancing and wear face coverings while enjoying trails. To learn more about Buck Gully Reserve visit or